MELBOURNE, Australia — Li Na became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam singles final, saving a match point before beating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 today in the Australian Open semifinals.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Li Na became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam singles final, saving a match point before beating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 today in the Australian Open semifinals.

Wozniacki, playing at a major for the first time with the No. 1 ranking, had match point at 5-4 and 40-30 in the second set before Li rallied. An hour and six minutes later, she served out on her first match point.

Li, who lost to Serena Williams in two tiebreak sets in the semifinals here last year, will meet either Kim Clijsters or No. 2 Vera Zvonareva in the final.

Li beat Clijsters in the final of the leadup event at Sydney earlier this month, becoming the first Chinese woman to win a WTA premier event. It was just another first for Li, who was the first Chinese player to win a tour-level title and the first to enter the top 10. She is also the first player from Asia to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

"I'm so happy I can be the first Chinese player to come to a final — I always do the first one!" she said in a lighthearted interview after the match in which she joked about losing sleep on the eve of the match because her coach-husband Shan Jiang was snoring.

Asked what motivated her comeback, she deadpanned: "Prize money."

Li looked down and out after the first set, when she made 17 unforced errors and struggled for consistency. She finished with 51 unforced errors, but that was a reflection of her pushing Wozniacki to the extremes.

Wozniacki could have ended the match in 1 hour, 29 minutes, but Li hit a forehand down the line, forcing an error and saving match point. It sparked a revival. She broke in that game to make it 5-5, held at love and then broke her Danish rival's serve again — after Wozniacki three times had game points for force a tiebreaker — to make it level at one set apiece.

They traded breaks twice in the third set before Li held her nerve to finish it off when Wozniacki misplayed a forehand.

Rafael Nadal's bid to be the first man since 1969 to hold all four major titles at once ended in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal loss to David Ferrer on Wednesday night.

Nadal struggled with left thigh injury and needed treatment throughout the match, but was determined not to withdraw because he had had to retire in his previous quarterfinal here against Andy Murray in 2010 and said he hated the feeling.

"It's a victory for me. But it's not a victory really," Ferrer said.

Ferrer will meet 2010 finalist Andy Murray in the semifinals. It was Murray who was leading Nadal by two sets and a break last year when the Spaniard withdrew with an injured right knee.

Murray had a struggle on his hands Wednesday, constantly trying to find his rhythm against Alexandr Dolgopolov before advancing 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3.

Murray lost the final here in straight sets last year to Roger Federer. He's a more experienced and accomplished player this year. And there's no certainty Federer will be in his path, anyway.

The defending champion plays his semifinal tonight against Novak Djokovic, who beat him in the semifinals here in 2008 en route to the title. No. 3-ranked Djokovic also beat Federer in the semifinals of the last U.S. Open, after saving two match points.